Powell's Books rehiring more than 100 employees after spike in online sales

Mar 30 2020, 7:29 pm

Just over a week after the Portland bookstore chain announced that all of their locations will be closed, Powell’s Books reports rehiring more than 100 employees after a boom in online orders.

The owner of one of the world’s biggest bookstores (68,000 sq. ft.) announced on March 27, that it has rehired many employees to help pick, pack, and ship an abundance of book orders.

Oregon has increasingly tightened restrictions on gatherings, business, and mandatory or suggested isolation, leaving many rediscovering, and thirsting for more, things to read. This is precisely why a business like Powell’s has been able to maintain life throughout this hardship.

“Thanks to your orders on Powells.com, we now have over 100 folks working at Powell’s again — all full time with benefits,” Emily Powell, owner and CEO, said in a release. “Most importantly, we’re working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy. Doing that work means we have to move a little slower as a company than usual.

“Please bear with us as we take all the necessary precautions to keep everyone healthy, and get your books headed your way.”

Though their normal employee count of nearly 600 has been harshly impacted by the impact on retail operations, having the opportunity to bring back and offer full-time hours to more than 100 staff is astounding in the current climate.


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On March 17, Powell wrote a heartfelt letter to customers and employees, after the decision to close all of their physical locations due to the global health pandemic.

“My heart breaks for all of us. Our stores are meant to be full, our city bustling, our minds at ease. And for a time, none of those will be true,” wrote Powell. “I know for many of you, your lives will be forever altered by our decision to close our stores and you will never think of Powell’s the same. For all of that and more, I am deeply sorry. I can only hope we might find a way to come back together on the other side of these terrible times.”

For more information on how to order from Powell’s Books, and support a local landmark during this crisis, visit Powell’s online shop.

Wyatt FossettWyatt Fossett

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